Since her first appearance in 1928, Minnie Mouse's round ears, bows and polka-dot skirts have become iconic – and helped to make Disney one of the largest apparel brands in the world. With her fluttering eyelashes and high-heels, though, Mickey's missus may be considered more feminine than fierce. But this season Disney's First Lady has been given a high-fashion update by a host of designers in a charity collection that will launch at London Fashion Week.
"I like her staying power," says Richard Nicoll, who has created a silhouette that echoes Minnie's ears. "She's a trooper and yet always looks flawless, she's barely aged," he adds, with tongue firmly in cheek. "It was really fun and an honour to work with Minnie Mouse, of course; we share a fondness for spots so I have always felt an affinity for her."
Another designer who took inspiration from those ears is Piers Atkinson, a milliner who has been making waves in fashion circles thanks to his designs being favoured by Anna Dello Russo and Lady Gaga. "It was a challenge to create something that felt new, fashion-chic and in an unexpected but relevant material. Anyone familiar with my hats knows that I love cartoons, children's stories, and cute animal ears," says Atkinson. "I've still got my Mickey Mouse kid's watch and baby spoon – I use it to make my tea. There's more to Minnie than you could ever imagine; this was a match made in heaven."
Giles Deacon, Terry de Havilland, Tatty Devine and Lulu Guinness have also contributed to the collection of one-off designs, while Meadham Kirchhoff will reveal their creation at their catwalk show on Tuesday.
Fans of Minnie Mouse will be able to get their paws on the collection from tomorrow – when bidding opens on the eBay for Charity programme, raising funds for the BFC/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation, an initiative which nurtures relationships between the creative industries.
Collection all Inspired by Minnie, available from eBay.co.uk